Archives For HDTV


While I often live on the bleeding edge of technology, there are occasions when I’m content to wait. As a casual gamer, I didn’t pick up the Xbox 360 last year and I waited to try all three next gen systems before making a purchase. Now that I’ve some experience with the various consoles, I decided on the 360. Many factors led to this choice including price, online offerings, controller comfort, and visual quality (Wii doesn’t make the cut). Sony’s integration of a Blu-ray drive into the PS3 is compelling, but the downloadable high definition movies makes it nearly a wash and Microsoft beats them in the other areas… Not to mention I could actually find an Xbox and for significantly less cash.

So now let me tell you how I’m (theoretically) getting the 360 for half price… Micro Center is running an in-store deal to promote their Gaming Department. Buy an Xbox (Core or Premium) by December 5 and get a $100 rebate by mail. That brings the Premium unit down from $399 to $299. But wait… there’s more! If you get their credit card (and potentially lower your credit score in the process) and make a $399 purchase you’ll receive 13,000 points redeemable for $100 check. For a twenty dollar rebate I wouldn’t bother jumping through these hoops, but $200 makes it worthwhile… assuming it works.

I’m still between projectors, so the 360 will live with the TiVo Series3 and Slingbox Pro attached to a 30″ Panasonic HDTV. My classic Xbox and Moviebeam are headed to ebay (to join my former Gamecube and PS2). I’ve enjoyed playing the online demos of Rainbox Six and Modern Warfare the last two nights, and I’ve loaded up on Points to make my first purchase once Superman Returns HD arrives. If you’re interested in kicking my butt online, my gamertag is Zatz and I look suspiciously like the creepy Burger King.

UPDATE: Turns out Micro Center has extended the $100 rebate dealio through 12/31! That should give you enough time to get to one of their 19 locations.

Dave’s Holiday Shopping Agenda

Dave Zatz —  November 23, 2006 — 3 Comments

It’s that time of year again! No, not the season of giving… Rather, it’s the season of trampling your neighbors to get the best deal for yourself at the Walmarts of the world.

I’ve put together a small list of what I want, where to get it, and at what cost. The odds of my succeeding are very low due to massive competition and the fact that I’ll be driving across several states to two different locations over the next four days. My top priority, based on need and attainability, is the LCD.

Xbox 360 @ $100
66% savings

42″ Vizio Plasma HDTV @ $1000
17% savings (off already great price)

samsung.jpg19″ Samsung LCD @ $130
48% Off
Best Buy

APC UPS 350VA @ $20
50% savings

Nintendo Wii @ $250
Full Price
Nintendo Store, NYC

Xbox Video Marketplace Is Live

Dave Zatz —  November 22, 2006 — 1 Comment

The switch was flipped this AM now allowing television and movies downloads via the Xbox 360. I admit this is extremely appealing to me for feature-length HD films, as I don’t use a cable box (as in no VOD) and I haven’t yet invested in a next gen high-def DVD player. Kevin, over at jkOnTheRun, counted 48 movies — mostly SD, many older selections. Hmmm… (And where’s the hard drive upgrade?)

Engadget writes: The biggest mystery at this point was price, which turns out to be $2 for SD TV shows, $3 for HD, while movie rentals will run you $3 for SD and $6 for HD. This is all converted from the various, confusing MS Points involved in each purchase (80 Points = $1).

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  November 18, 2006 — Leave a comment

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

  • HD-DVD and Blu-ray are dead on arrival: Slate
  • Video overview of TiVo’s new broadband features: CrunchGear
  • CBS show streaming paying dividends: Broadcasting & Cable
  • ReplayTV PC Edition finally launches: PVRWire

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  November 17, 2006 — 1 Comment

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

  • Sling Media partners with UK mobile provider: Sling Community
  • The story of CableLabs certification: Chris Lanier
  • Digeo-Gemstar battle continues: PVRWire
  • 1080p not “an important factor” in HDTV purchases: EngadgetHD
  • Disney sells 5 million copies of Cars in 48 hours: AppleInsider

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  November 14, 2006 — Leave a comment

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

  • Live NASA broadcast from Space Station in HD: EngadgetHD
  • Most PVR users watch recorded shows within three days: PVRWire
  • How to improve the music cellphone: LiveDigitally
  • Comcast adds HD art-on-demand: Press Release
  • Internet TV directory beta application released: tVadio

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  November 10, 2006 — 3 Comments

A periodic roundup of relevant news…

  • Buy a TiVo, get a pizza: TiVo
  • CEA proposes FCC expedite two-way products: Multichannel News
  • ITVN announces Universal movie on-demand: Press Release
  • HD DVR sales drive DirecTV growth: PVRWire
  • Moviebeam expands retail presence into Radio Shack: TWICE